Sleep Study Part Cuatro

Previously on “No Laughing Matter Living with Depression”: Sleep study results were due to make their announcement on Thursday if not Friday, but they didn’t. Now here comes the waiting game, hence the new post Sleep Study Part Cuatro.

We now return you to your broadcast still in progress. The waiting game is a cruel trick that’s played on innocent people awaiting the important results of a health test. Imagine having to wait for results of a blood or urine test and the doctor’s office keeps you waiting by the phone for hours and possibly days. At work and at home, imagine yourself becoming so anxious to the point of anger and frustration because you’re waiting for the stupid phone to ring. “C’MON RING!” as you scream at your phone. Even when you try to fall asleep at night, you mind keeps you up and constantly badgers you with irrational thoughts after thoughts. When the phone did ring on Thursday and Friday, it turned out to be meaningless calls such as toll-free telemarketers and the constant badgering of my pharmacy saying that there were prescriptions ready. With the addition of caller ID, you can screen your calls to see who it is. If you weren’t someone like the sleep center or a loved one, then nope, I will not be picking up the phone for you.

phone

If only my body would just relax and just sleep soundly all night like others, but NO! I’m not that lucky. Insomnia, sleep apnea or whatever sleep disorder that is currently plaguing me is driving me insane. The “not knowing” what it is, is what’s making me frustrated.

Imagine your sleep habits are like scattered showers. Sporadic downpours for a little while and then poof…they’re gone. And the vicious cycle continues. I can sleep for a few hours and later, NO. In the afternoon, bring on the downpours and come time for bed, no rain in the forecast at all. Not a cloud in the sky. It’s crystal clear. Frustrating, right? Whatever happened to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep? Well, it went AWOL from me. It said: “Goodbye, see you later! Have fun sleeping.” My body is so tired that thinking isn’t something that a sleep deprived brain is going to be doing. Nope. The constant yawning. That keeps going like the Energizer Bunny. Never ends. The brain fogs, no concentration and overall mood gets worse with no sleep. It’s amazing that I’m even awake and out of bed let alone working on the job. I’ve been cutting down a lot of my caffeine intake such as soda and coffee (only one soda or coffee a day). One small glass of iced coffee or cold brew keeps you awake for so long. Sometimes, it doesn’t help at all. Throughout the entire weekend, the waiting was torture. I couldn’t do my job without falling asleep or suffer an anxiety attack because I can’t take it no more.

But hopefully by Monday, (fingers crossed) answers will finally be handed out to me. After a little meltdown this morning, prayers were finally answered: NO sleep apnea, however, insomnia and sleep deprivation are the newest children that I now have to for struggle with. It’s funny when life gives you one problem, more tend to follow suit. GRRR!

I was very persistent (my dad called me “demanding”) at calling the Sleep Center and my primary doctor for the past few days because I can’t sleep and it’s bugging the crap out of me. I did get mad this morning and had to shed a few tears because I hate suffering in general, but the good news is I don’t have sleep apnea (for now). Remember, this is still hereditary.

I kind of had an inkling that it was insomnia and sleep deprivation. I have the hardest time going to sleep and staying asleep. My circadian rhythm is goofy because I work weird hours (remember the Shift Work Disorder) and it’s causing me to sleep unusually. I do snore, but my airways stay open. But I am experiencing the following symptoms of insomnia/sleep deprivation: difficulty sleeping, and staying asleep, no concentration, irritability (hence, the mood swings!), taking naps during the daytime, obesity (GRRR!), forgetfulness (ME, everyday!), clumsiness (ME, too!).

The funny thing about insomnia/sleep deprivation is weight gain. A lot of the weight that  gained have been the results of anti-depressants, poor eating habits, and poor sleep habits. I didn’t realize that a lack of sleep can affect body weight. Two hormones in the body, leptin and ghrelin, control feelings of hunger and satiety, or fullness. The levels of these hormones are affected by sleep. Sleep deprivation also causes the release of insulin, which leads to increased fat storage and a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.

So guess what now? A trip back to the primary doctor and a trip back to the psychiatrist’s office as well. A physical will more than likely have to be done because I’m overweight and could be a borderline diabetic and not know it. But it’s time for me to admit that I’m fat and I need to get my body back in shape for health reasons only, not for vanity reasons. Next, an important trip to the psychiatrist’s office to help devise a plan with to help and treat insomnia and sleep deprivation. There are certain medications that can be helpful in this, but dieting and exercising along with this new plan will help me get better. With that being said, a regular work schedule will also help me too. Not to mention a proper bedtime ritual, too. I can’t work until 11pm one night and 9pm the other night and go to bed at the same time. I need to start working similar shifts and get off at the same times.

So for now, I can take a big sigh of relief and look towards changing my lifestyle. It won’t be easy. God, no! But I need to motivate myself to do this before it’s too late.

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